Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), despite having voted on Tuesday that the impeachment trial of ex-President Donald Trump was unconstitutional, has privately indicated that he hasn’t decided yet whether he’ll convict the former president over his incitement of last month’s violent siege of the Capitol, according to Bloomberg.
Additionally, McConnell has reportedly given his Republicans Senate colleagues the green light to vote with their conscience and convict Trump if they so choose even though, like the GOP leader, most of them voted that the trial was unconstitutional on Tuesday (constitutional experts, even conservative ones, have rejected that argument).
Bloomberg’s report came after several Republicans, even those who ultimately voted against the trial, panned the Trump defense team’s bumbling performance that saw one of the attorneys accidentally call himself the “lead prosecutor,” describe Nebraska as “quite a judicial-thinking place” and even admit that the team had “changed what we were going to do on account that we thought that the House manager’s presentation was well done.”
Nevertheless, the only Republican senators who voted to proceed with the trial were the five who had previously sided with Democrats on declaring the proceedings to be constitutional plus Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), who switched from his previous vote against the trial.
17 GOP senators would need to join their Democratic colleagues in the final trial vote in order for the chamber to successfully convict Trump.
Correction: This post initially attributed a quote to the wrong Trump impeachment attorney. TPM regrets this error.